Plot: What’s it about?
As an unpopular war rages on, the current President of the United States wages his own battle, his effort to get re-elected to the oval office. On the front lines for his defense are his right hand man David Murch (Jon Tenney) and the beautiful, controversial conservative icon Jane Cleaver (Thea Gill). Cleaver goes to extremes to promote her views, while Murch takes a more subtle, kind approach. When Murch is caught off guard by a question, his mind blanks and he says if he had one wish, it would be that the soldiers killed in the war could return and tell the nation how they feel. He had no idea the answer would be so well taken, to the point that the President himself started to drop the line in speeches. But his words also caused more than praise, as soon after, soldiers began to come back to life. These undead soldiers posed no threat to others and when early voting polls opened, they arrived and voted. As soon as the votes had been cast, they dropped dead once again. When one of them was able to speak, he denounced the President and the war itself. The soldiers wanted their voices heard, but if for some reason those voices are silenced, what will be unleashed?
As I have said before, I have loved the Masters of Horror series. But this is by far the low point in the run, as Joe Dante’s Homecoming was a total disappointment. While the concept is kind of cool, the execution is ruined by a hand so heavy, it drowns out the good parts of the material. I appreciate some social or political messages, but come on, this is too much. This is like something a radical liberal blogger would come up with, so irate and over the top with wrath. If this were more subtle or at least rational, Homecoming could have been a fun little horror flick with some political satire. Instead, Dante beats this dead horse through ten deaths and never relents, so the whole process seems bitter and childish. I wanted more of the tension and to be honest, there is very little here until right at the end and even then, it is pushed aside for more political nonsense. The idea is cool, but Dante couldn’t reign himself in enough and as a result, the film really suffers. I am by no means a far right conservative, but even I was bored with how obsessed Dante’s vision was. This should have been a fun flick, but as it stands, I can’t even recommend this as a rental.
Video: How does it look?
Homecoming is presented in 1.77:1 anamorphic widescreen. The movie might be bad, but this visual treatment is more than solid. There is a slight bit of grain on the print, but aside from that, the materials look good, despite the low budget production values involved. I found the colors to be bold and more than solid, though a few scenes show some overly rich hues, which isn’t a huge deal, but one worth mentioning here. The black levels remain sharp and well balanced, while detail is good too, even in the darker sequences. Not a top level visual effort by any means, but for a made for cable horror flick, it ain’t bad at all.
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio here could have been atmospheric and enhanced the eerie texture we expect from a Hellraiser movie, but instead, it comes off as bland and basic. The surrounds aren’t silent at all times with this mix, but you won’t notice them too often and that sucks, as this kind of material could use some creepy surround presence. All the little creaks and other spooky noises should have been well mixed to add to the atmosphere, but that didn’t happen. The music is decent enough and the dialogue is clean, but I still found this soundtrack to be a disappointment. This disc also includes a 2.0 surround option.
Supplements: What are the extras?
I hated the flick and since it bored me to tears, so no chance I would suffer through the supplements. The disc has audio comments from writer Sam Hamm, a number of cast & crew interviews, and several featurettes with assorted focuses.